Rubens Barrichello became the most experienced F1 driver of all time earlier this year.
But that, his nine Grand Prix wins and a well-deserved podium in the rain at Silverstone this year may not be enough to earn him a place on the 2009 grid.
Should Honda keep Barrichello?
Rubens Barrichello is his third year with Honda. But the season in which he?óÔé¼Ôäós compared most favourably with team mate Jenson Button has also been the one where the team has performed most poorly.
The RA108 started the year as a slow car. Months of limited development as the team prioritise the RA109, built to the radically different 2009 regulations, have not made things better.
Last year if a Honda was doing conspicuously well it was usually Button?óÔé¼Ôäós. But Barrichello shone in the rain at Silverstone to score an excellent third place ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ the team?óÔé¼Ôäós only podium since 2006. And he was set to capitalise on the safety car deployment at Singapore when he suffered an untimely retirement.
Alonso?óÔé¼Ôäós prospects of joining the team were reported in some quarters as being a done deal earlier in this year. But having won the last two Grands Prix on the trot ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ something which seemed unthinkable even two months ago ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ Alonso might now be leaning towards staying.
Senna would be a far riskier choice: the GP2 runner-up has looked quick but short on experience.
Should either of these drivers get the nod from Honda many expect Barrichello is the one who?óÔé¼Ôäóll be moved aside. He had some critical words for how long the team has taken to reach its decision this weekend:
There is a lot of silence at Honda right now, and I think this is tiresome. I’ve never been in a situation like this, without a contract for next year this late in the season. I’ve made it clear that if someone offers me a good contract for the next three years, I’ll sign it. I see my future in a F1 car, but if it doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world.
Do you think F1?óÔé¼Ôäós most experienced driver should get another year in 2009? Is he aiming too high by asking for a three-year deal this late in his career?
Read more about the 2009 F1 season